I’ve heard it said that the three most important factors in real estate are location, location, and location. Likewise, where your website is located (hosted) can be critical to its success. A bad web host can result in endless headaches and lost revenue.
Let’s take a quick look at some specific points you need to address as you select your web host. First we’ll discuss five technical issues and then we’ll look at five things you’ll want as a user.
Five Technical Questions To Ask Yourself About A Web Host
1.) How’s the neighborhood? Some web hosts allow domains on their servers to push porn, illegal file-sharing, warez, and email spam out over the Internet like the Mississippi River at flood level. Your website could be punished for being on the same IP address, so avoid hosts that don’t regulate their customers.
2.) What kind of servers is the web host running? Find out if the servers are running Linux, Unix, Apache or Windows. Some scripts will not run on every server. Know what you need and what your web host has.
3.) What are your bandwidth limitations? If you run a site where your users will be downloading large files, as they do if you are selling software, music or movies, make sure the plan you choose is the right size. And, when you compare web hosts be sure to take bandwidth into consideration.
4.) Can your website grow? As you think about bandwidth, plan for growth. If you are successful, will your provider be able to handle the additional demands on its servers? Don’t get into a situation where success will force you to migrate your site.
5.) Is there adequate storage space? Again, you’re planning to grow, right? Make sure you have enough storage space. Also, here’s a bonus tip: until your website needs the extra storage space, you can use it to back up your own computer files.
If you’re serious about your online business, you’ll be interfacing with your website quite often. As a user or webmaster here are five issues to consider:
Five Ease Of Use Questions To Ask Yourself About A Web Host
1.) How is the web host’s customer support? Nothing is worse than being sent to an endless page of FAQs when your question requires a response from a live person. Imagine you browse to your site one morning and it’s not there. You need to talk to someone, immediately.
2.) Is there a feedback forum? A solid web host will provide a forum for users to discuss issues, receive help and share tips. Make sure yours has one.
3. How is the control panel? If you’re a super-savvy web guru this might not matter to you, but if you’re just starting out make sure the control panel your host offers is easy to use. cPanel is a popular and easy to use option.
4. Are FrontPage extensions supported? Again, if you’re a newbie and don’t know HTML, you may be using FrontPage or similar software to design your site. Be certain that your host supports FrontPage extensions.
5. What features are instantly installed? There’s a high likelihood that your site will use database-driven features, so make sure features like a MYSQL database and PHP are pre-installed for use on your website.
Choosing a webhost can be a daunting task, but if you follow the items on these two quick checklists you’ll be certain to get off to a strong start when you launch your new website.
Author Bio: Lin Edwards is chief content and technical writer at SmallBusiness-Domain.com, a website offering articles, coupons, and reviews related to domain names and web hosting. Browse their site for yahoo store coupons and other offers.